Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Football Season

It seems likely that there might be households where autumn weekend afternoons are not entirely taken up with football. However, here in the Heron Clan, once we've made it through the inevitable disappointments that come with the realities that set in as our Cincinnati Reds drag us through yet another dreary summer of barely so-so baseball (which can, BTW, be listened to on the radio while enjoying the delights of the patio and the pond), and kind of bumbled through the football pre-season which really doesn't mean anything much anyway, there comes that glorious day when REAL FOOTBALL starts. "Real" football, incidentally, is played here in the great Midwest, at both the college level (Ohio State), and by the heretofore hapless Cincinnati Bengals, with their (no way around it) silly tiger costumes (errrr I mean uniforms, Sir).

Suffice it to say that once 1:00 in the afternoon rolls around on Sunday, there is nothing much going on around here that does not include appropriate football oriented snack food, and yelling and cheering and shouting at the television as great hulking fellows chase the football up and down the gridiron while trying to squash each other.

Except that, of course, there is a significant modification to the "rules" of football here...

Master paddles for points scored. Any and all points scored. By anybody. Using that Hanson Paddle Werks paddle you see pictured up top there... and yes, sports fans, it is every bit as wicked as you are thinking it is.

I get to ask for my paddling(s) at any point during the game. Whenever I choose. The only trick is that if I haven't redeemed all the paddle strokes for all the points scored by the end of the game, any remaining points -- double.

The score for Sunday's game between the Bengals and the Chicago Bears -- 24 -7. Cincinnati won. In case you were wondering.

He actually let me off easy. I'd had a pretty good session early in the morning, and we had 30 points to make up from a game earlier in the season -- so... He forgave the last two touchdowns. It is early in the season.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Tired of the Bullshit

Temptation put up a really fine bit of writing about face slapping a few days ago: Made some sense about the topic in a dispassionate, sort of "technical" sense, which is a welcome relief in the midst of all the emotional heat that's been generated here about the subject.

Then, as with everywhere else this has come up, the 'cussin and disscussin' began. It seems to drag in people who've, up until now, had no acquaintance or even remote interest in "US." Everybody is seemingly fascinated by the slap heard 'round the world and what it might imply about the state of my mental well-being and the nature of our polyamorous relationship in general. I can't quite figure out what the draw is, but I'm beginning to be curious, frankly.

Here's a comment on Temptation's blog, by someone named Amber. I went and looked to figure out who she is and what her interest might have been. She claims she's submissive, but when I read her blog, it seems that her family is really more in the wine business. No harm, no foul. That's interesting and really pretty neat, actually... Still... Makes a person go, "hmmmm...."

"Amber said (in part)...
Being the gossip whore that I am, I went and read the blogs of everyone involved and my take on it isn't that everyone was freaked out so much by the slap itself, but Swan's feelings going up to and surrounding the slap. Although her Dom slapped her to calm her down... I believe what offended some people was ...what APPEARED to be a blatant disregard for Swan's feelings leading up to that moment. By all parties involved.The sadness and jealousy Swan felt when she posted that entry was palpable. She wrote of feeling worthless and not anywhere near as valuable to Tom as the new woman Jewels was...I can't claim to understand poly relationships very well. My first introduction to them was through the novels of Heinlein. In Heinlein's world, everyone was loved equally and everyone seemed to be happy with the multi-family situation. Share and share alike and no one was jealous...Swan was hurt, though she is striving to try and work through this. And this is her choice...She's choosing to stay with her eyes open. She's the second woman in the relationship already, coming in on the heels of Tom's wife. So she knew what was coming...

Well, Gosh! Don't I feel special. Everyone, everywhere is all over my poor little tender feelings. So much so that they are all making sure to include in every single conversation at least one caveat that makes it clear that I am, after all the "SECOND WOMAN IN THE RELATIONSHIP ALREADY, COMING IN ON THE HEELS OF TOM'S WIFE. SO I KNEW WHAT WAS COMING..." What the bloody fuck did I expect after all!?!?!?!?! Right?

I'm getting pretty much over this crap at this point ladies and gents. I've explained all nice and polite like, and answered direct questions, asked in a civil fashion as best I can. However, I am certain of one thing -- Amber, whoever she is, has labeled this bit correctly: GOSSIP.

I don't read Heinlein. Never have. I know that there are plenty of people who know what little bit they think they know about poly from what they've read about it in that science fiction drivel. What I live is not science fiction. It isn't any kind of fiction. What I write about it here isn't fiction either. When you start scratching and clawing, you are scratching and clawing at real people, even if you can't actually see us or touch us. We're pretty tough but we are not without hearts or souls. So while you are yammering on about our feelings, pull your damn claws in.

Polyamory can be wonderfully enriching for those who live it. More love does make more love. It is also remarkably complex. Human beings are not simple creatures and human relationships are dynamic and intensely fluid systems. Look around you at your own relationships and at those of the people you know well. How many of them are happy, stable, and healthy? If those relationships are comprised of coupled pairs (as is the "norm" in our society), consider how much effort goes into maintaining those coupled relationships in that state of happy, stable, and healthy relatedness. Acknowledge honestly that there are times when even the best paired relationships experience periods of uncertainty and insecurity and conflict. Now, consider what might be the added levels of complexity if even the most successful pair you know were to attempt to incorporate a third member, or a fourth or a fifth... The demands on time, energy, communication, sharing all the resources of relatedness become multiplied not just once but many, many times over. There ARE feelings of all sorts to be dealt with. Even if the addition of that new partner is an occasion for great joy and happiness on the part of all or most of the members of the family there will be stresses and strains and feelings. It isn't all simple and easy and without bumps. Feelings are not BAD. They are simply feelings.

When we came to be a poly family in the first place, there were plenty of feelings and not all of them were happy. T was hurt and jealous and stunned. She's written about that here. So, yeah, for those of you that figure I'm getting what I had coming, I guess you are right. That Scarlett Letter must fit somewhere... She and I regularly run through the litany: "Cunt, Slut, Bitch, Whore!" It is our joke that we bring out when she reminds me that she is likely to successfully make the transit through menopause ahead of me and that I'll continue to bleed for both of us until I am 97... We can laugh with each other, knowing that those are epithets that the world hurls at us on a regular basis. Still there is sting there. We laugh so that we don't have to cry.

As for the whispers that are out there that I (or perhaps "we") are mistreated... It is simply not so. Master is a man. Not a "god." He has faults and flaws. We call Him on them. He gets tired and worried and frustrated and sometimes even fearful. Sometimes He reacts in ways that He later regrets. He learns and grows. We all do. There is this impossible standard held up that Dominants and Masters must be perfect, must be unerring, must never falter in their judgements or in their actions, or in their decisions. Bullshit. I want no part of the man who cannot fail, who cannot admit failure or error.

Those of you who are judging that there have been things done here that were "wrong," be very careful. Make very sure that you are always, always right. That you have never betrayed a trust, never misjudged, never lost your temper in the heat of the moment. It is easy to look on from afar and KNOW that you would do it better. Far, far harder to actually live it when it is real.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Slap

Alright. It is time to see if I can answer some of the questions that have been raised in the minds of those who read here about "The Slap." Some of you have been straightforward and honest with us, and simply said, "That part of all of this has caused me to wonder, or made me uncomfortable." Others have made comments of a less open, and sometimes less friendly sounding nature, often not directed to us.

I am clear that I don't owe anyone an explanation of that event/sequence of events. It is, as all of this has been, intensely intimately private. Of course, so has all the rest of this been... You've been looking all along, haven't you? This isn't about what is owed. It isn't about private or public. It is about the power of my words to somehow bring my life to some higher place for me, for us all. It is a discipline that I engage in because it heals me and teaches me and grows my love.

So, now, a week after our weekend with Loki and jewels, when I am calmer and stronger, whenMaster and I have had a chance to process a bit of what transpired, let me see if I can talk (from my perspective -- He would perhaps view it differently) about "the Slap."

I wrote in that first agonized post about the weekend--
I was useless and worthless and helpless and unpleasant and just a mess. It wasn't my intention but it is the simple fact. By Saturday night, He was so furious with me, that He ended the evening, finally so frustrated and angry that, when I was so clumsy as to spill a can of orange soda in the bedroom and then tried to clean up the mess, frantically pitching a bottle of advil onto the bed to get them out of the way, and hitting Him with them, He smacked me across the face and told me to get my ass to bed. As I stood quivering and in shock, I had a moment of utter confusion as my mind refused to process anymore. The orange soda ran everywhere and I finally just gave it up. I went to bed and remained still and rigid most of the night, afraid to move or sleep.

I've been determined, as I've written about all of this to offer no excuses, to simply report on events as they occured and to not try and explain my behaviors. I am coming to see though that without any background explanations, there are no contexts for any of it and it all seems just bizzare. So, without trying to excuse any of it, I am going to attempt to place some of what occured that Saturday evening between Master and I into a better context.

First of all, some have construed my statement that I was "useless and worthless and helpless and unpleasant and just a mess" to represent my general view of my self (an overarching self-esteem issue). This is simply not the case. I am capable and bright and strong and determined in most settings. However, in this instance, I was way below par -- not functioning at my best, for a lot of reasons. I knew it and it exaccerbated my difficulties with the weekend.

Our household comprises three working adults who keep demanding schedules. Entertaining for a weekend means that what we normally do on the weekend to prepare for the week ahead must somehow get subsumed into the evenings ahead of that weekend in order to make the space. We'd worked like wild to prepare for the coming of company. All of us were worn to a frazzle. That included Master, who had taken a day out of His already intense schedule to stay home and spot clean carpets on His hands and knees (so that I wouldn't have to), knowing that I was making myself nuts over all that needed to be done to get ready -- "Master becomes servant." For me, the work of preparing for the coming teaching week (planning and grading) had to also be squashed up into the previous week -- no small undertaking.

To further complicate things, I got slammed by an evil flu-like virus on the preceeding Sunday afternoon. It made it impossible for me to eat anything from Sunday until sometime on Wednesday. Teachers don't just call in sick like other folks do. If you are going to not show up, it means making plans for a substitute and all the rest of the crap, so I dragged myself in and taught in an old building without air conditioning in the late summer Cincinnati heat. I was dragging my ass... but dragging ass or not there was stuff that needed doing.

I am SHY. Not just a little bit shy. Really, certifiably shy. I have an MMPI (Minnesota Multi-phasic Index) that is dead-flat level normal on every scale until you get to the axis that measures shyness. Then the sucker spikes to the top of the charts. I live with a Dominant that loves to meet people -- a true and for real extrovert. T is an introvert as well, but she copes by doing the social thing. So she cooks and makes neat hor d' ouerves and good stuff. I can't do it. I sweat bullets when I have to meet new people. I need to watch from the edge. I'll walk around a store forever to avoid approaching a sales person. The first day of school always makes me nervous as a cat just because there are always new kids. I am just not good at the new people thing... It wires me up.

Of course, there is always for me at least the looming uncertainty of peri-menopausal erratic cycles. Why the heck not? Let's throw that one into the mix too. Can't have too much fun, can we. Raging hormonal imbalance is neat.

By Friday night, when the plane was due to land, the houses were looking good, but I was a wreck. I was exhausted. I had a migraine brewing. I take topamax daily to prevent migraines. It gets about 90-95% of them. When one breaks through, I can take a medication called Amerge. Amerge makes me feel like I am living inside my freezer compartment and it also makes me hideously sleepy. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to try and stay awake and try and look sociable and welcoming. I managed to hang on until about midnight.

When I finally excused myself Friday night, I had an awful headache and I was dealing with a pretty high level of confusion. I wasn't sure what was going to go on that night, but I knew I hadn't been as sociable as I should have been. I knew Master and jewels were going to probably play but I just couldn't think about it. I wasn't sure if I should go to "our" bed, or where I should go to sleep, and I didn't know if it was appropriate to go and ask. I was simply tired and unsure.

Saturday started off too early for me. Everything kicked off before there was time for Master and I to play or make love or get connected -- no time for me to check in or get "anchored."

He was so wrapped up in jewels. So infatuated, and who could blame Him? They had just a few precious hours. I knew we were planning to play that night, and I was all at sea. For a "high-end" player, I am remarkably un-self assured. I never believe I can actually do it, and I live in great fear of embarassing myself and Master in the event. If you've not played heavily in public, you perhaps cannot understand. Anyway, I worried myself into a tizzy. Handled the stress badly -- got drunk over it. I am not a very good drunk. Mostly because I do it so rarely. Drunk, my emotions got even messier. The rest of the crew consulted and decided that playing with me in such a state was not a good plan and so called the whole thing off. That disappointed me, since by then, I was inebriated enough I figured I could handle whatever was coming just fine. There's a reason why playing drunk is not a good idea... The evening went from bad to worse.

Moon gazing. Something that would never have happened at my suggestion.

Eventually it was time to call it a night. Time to head for bed. I was pretty well deflated and defeated and drunk and disorderly. By the time I got to the bed, I managed to convince myself that I had knocked my reading glasses on the floor. I looked and looked and looked and could not find them. They weren't there it turns out. I was simply nuts by now. Running in circles. Out of my head. Making no sense. Not able to make sense and not able to be calmed down.

I don't know what it was that made me go to the other side of the bed and try to turn on the light. Maybe I was trying to find the flashlight that He keeps over on His side so that I could keep searching for those silly glasses. Whatever it was, I knocked His can of soda over and spilled it. The stuff stains terribly. Now I'd made a mess in a literal sense. And I couldn't think straight about how to clean it up. I scampered to get a towel. Started moving stuff out of the way. Picked up a bottle of Advil to move it off the night table and tossed it onto the bed. It did hit Him although I wasn't throwing it at Him... I think He thought I was.

It was finally enough, though. I think He saw the spiral for what it was. For two days, no for a week of days, maybe more, I'd been screwing myself into the ground with fear and panic and upset and illness and anger and confusion and questions without answers and exhaustion and all the rest of it. He'd tried to help and tried to explain and tried to support and tried to reassure. I was having none of it. I was headed for a break down. I believe that He believed that on Saturday night. I think He stopped my spinning out of control in the quickest and most straightforward and effective way He had available to Him -- He slapped me. Once. Sharp and swift. It stopped the action and ended the escalation of my hysteria.

I didn't like it. I was hurt and angry and resentful as hell. My first impulse was to tell Him to go fuck Himself. I absolutely wanted to get my ass in my car and drive. I didn't do that. I'm glad I didn't.

We don't just spank to spice up our sex life. I didn't introduce Him to spanking and ask Him to do this. He doesn't spank me the way I like to be spanked. We are Master and slave. He loves me and wants me to be happy and fulfilled. However, I am His always and all ways. I am obligated to obey Him. He is not obligated to make me happy. When He asks me for something, He expects that I will give it. When that obedience is not forthcoming, He is generally tolerant to a very great degree, but He will have my Obedience finally...

It is not a life that many will understand. Not a life that many would choose or embrace. It is mine. I am not abused. I am loved and cherished, even when the limits on my choices are very tight.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

BDSM, Polyamory, Security, Love, Choices, and What it all Looks Like...

There's apparently (well and obviously) been some anxiety among some who read here in the last days that what I've written indicates that I am insecure and, perhaps, less well loved or cared for than I ought to be within my family and my relationship than I ought to be, or than I deserve. I understand how it is entirely possible for people, looking in from outside, with limited ability to see the broad picture, and without much history, to take the heavy stuff that sometimes flows across the screen here and leap to conclusions that make absolute sense... Except that they really don't in this context. Because my life IS alternative, by choice, by design, and maybe by something bigger than any of that...

Those of you who have noted a tendency in me toward personal insecurity are not far off the mark. I'm strong and talented and bright and capable. I have a career of which I am extremely proud, and within which I feel remarkably accomplished. However I have a history that has left scars and it is possible to trigger abandonment issues in me without a whole lot of energy. That goes back a very long way...

I have a brother who is 16 months younger than me. He was born 3 months prematurely, in 1956, weighing 2 pounds-6 ounces. He was one very sick baby, and not expected to live. In fact, it was a wonder my mother survived his birth. Today, he stands well over 6' tall and weighs in at something over 200 lbs. In the beginning, though, he spent 6 months in the hospital. My beleaguerd parents were simply overwhelmed. They essentially handed me over to some neighbors so that they could spend their time with my brother. I understand that in intellectual terms -- it makes perfect sense to me from this distance. I don't think I was harmed or abused by that arrangement in any physical sense. However I do know that I am aware of how easy it is to be "sent away." My sense of having a place to belong is, to this day, very tenuous. It is simply not possible to talk rationally to that baby.

When I told that story to jewels, she commented that she was surprised that I would choose a life path that would so challenge that fear... I suppose that there are "safer" paths. The fact is that I tried the "secure" route of traditional marriage and family. It meant I lived a life that left me "dead" inside. The life I live today sometimes pushes me, sometimes challenges me, sometimes even scares the willies out of me -- not because of real threats, but because of imaginings that are built out of shadows. I choose to walk with those challenges rather than live a life that is numb and lifeless. My insecurities are earned and true. Like the other scars I've earned from being alive, they mean I'm human. I'm not ashamed of them. I have no intention of letting them keep me from living fully or loving fully. I'll be scared if that's what it takes. I believe that, when I'm really scared, there will be someone who loves me to hold me until the fear subsides.

Other people seem to think that maybe I'm not well loved, that I might even be abused within this relationship.

I think it is very hard to see BDSM practice described in graphic terms when that reaches a level where it may not be simply "fun" anymore. Many people play with BDSM for bedroom "spice." It has gotten to be quite stylish. That is not what we do.

Ours is a relationship that is about power exchange. There is a very high end SM component to that which is primarily about impact play. Other people engage in other kinds of SM play, but that is our primary mode. I am a masochist, but I am not the sort of masochist who tends to eroticize pain in a classic sense. I don't get much sexual pleasure from pain -- it doesn't make me cum, generally. I will crave it, sexually, if it doesn't happen in a fairly regular pattern, but it doesn't turn me on. What draws me is the loss of control that pain brings. I don't have to enjoy it for that to happen. Our play is at His pleasure. He defines the when, the where, the how. If I enjoy, then that is a bonus, but not His concern, or His responsibility. I understand that and I consent to that. I will struggle with it and I will sometimes fight it, even resent it. It is not easy to give up ever greater levels of personal power, especially when it is about things that go deep. However, it is what I came to ask for, expected when I came into this relationship, sought out here, wanted. It is different than D/s or DD in that way. And it is not abusive.

I do understand abuse. I am a card carrying feminist. Literally. I've advised many women on when and how to leave abusive relationships. Taken some out of just such relationships. I know the drill. I am not alone here either. I have a sister and a partner in T. When I am most uncertain, most shocked, most upset, she sees me, asks me, demands to know what's up. She'll take us to task and check it out. She'd never stand for anything that was over the line. But she is experienced in the lifestyle, too. She understands how different it is inside the life. It is not possible to apply vanilla standards to lifestyle realities. You can look at this but you have to be careful to not assume you know what it is you are looking at. We are different. I am different.

I am ferociously loved. Sometimes literally. And I love just as ferociously.

I chose. Once. Choosing, I laid my choices at His feet. There are no other options now. Where He takes me now, I will go. Easily if I can, or dragged by the hair. Sometimes the one, sometimes the other.

You will see the joy and elation of the one by times, and then, again, the sturm and drang of the other. If you find the unsettledness of that turmoil disturbing, there are more civilized, and probably sexier places to read.


Friday, September 23, 2005


Recently on Lock and Ki, J from the Blog "Unwrapping the Layers" explained that she had removed links on her Blog to Lock and Ki, and to this Blog, because she so disapproved of what had been revealed about our lives over the last week. She went on to say, "I have often gotten the idea from Swan's writings that her place in her poly family is not as secure as perhaps it should be, or that she was as cared for as she deserved to be." She also said in discussing why she removed her Blog links: "....the simple fact is that a link on my Blog is a personal endorsement from me."

I don't know when I've encountered a more amazing display of arrogance and condescension. I cannot imagine anyone feeling that, based upon what they read from people sharing their feelings and experiences on Blogs, they somehow have the wisdom to be able to judge whether they are secure enough and loved enough in their family.

The concept that it is a "fact" that a Blog link constitutes a personal endorsement of that person's life is so unbelievably false it was amazing to contemplate. I read it over 4 or 5 times thinkng that obvioulsy, in my early morning sleepiness, I was misreading what was before me.

I link to people becaue I enjoy what they write as does swan. Often they are people who seem to have similar interests, and for whom commenting on each other's writing is interesting. It has nothing to do with ENDORSEMENT.

I/we do not need endorsement for my/our lives. We have not asked for any nor will we. If we were to seek endorsement it certainly would be from someone far more experienced in the practice of BDSM polyamory, not someone who's been invovled in the the life monogamously for a couple or three years and who has little community experience except via the Blogosphere.

If anyone who has links here feels that somehow they are endorsing our lives please remove your link. We do not want endorsement. We want readership. We want community. We want discussion, debate, education, sharing concerns, fears and joys. We want to reciprocate in that way with you. We do not want to be judged nor will we tolerate that.

If anyone with whom we are linked thinks that somehow we are endorsing, and therefore "putting our stamp of approval" on your life, please be advised we are not. We care about our friends and correspondents and share with them but we do not judge them whether favorably as in an "endorsement" or negatively as in a "disendorsement." What you do is not our business. It is something we care about to the extent you are open to it. That is all. If you feel we are endorsing you plesse let us know. We will unlink.

I feel we are pretty experienced as lifestyle practitioners go. There is always someone more knowledgeable and more skilled. There are a great many who are less than we are. I have developed some skills and learned a few things. One of those few concepts is that I know what is right for me and my family. I have no idea what is right for anyone else who is not part of us.

J, I have told swan to remove our link to your BLOG. We are in for another intensely busy weekend and it may be Sunday before she has time to do so. Please don't comment here. We have no need to hear from folks who feel they are so wise as to be able to judge if we are secure enough and cared for enough in our family or who feel that they somehow are wise enough to "endorse" us or disendorse us.

I would suggest in the interest of what ethics you may have that you contact those whom you have linked with and inform them that their having your link on their Blog constitutes a personal endorsement by you of their life and that if they live outside your limits you will sadly be forced to remove your link and endorsement. They should know that you feel this "endorsement" is an undeniable fact of their having your link on their Blog.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Slave Thoughts

Along with all the rest of the emotion that is being stirred up these last days, I've been doing some heavy thinking. Part of that is because the reactions to these events have polarized people's reactions, causing them to judge what has happened through filters that, to a very large degree, discount the foundational fact that I live as a consensual slave. Those are not, for us, simply words. They define a reality that runs deep, and, while we do not practice elaborate rituals and protocols for the most part, we do live that reality at the core of our relationship. It is who we are with one another.

It is easy to equate consensual slavery with something fictionalized and sort of sexy in a kinky sense. Always at Master's command for a quick spanking and a fuck or whatever. I think it might have been Gabriel from Once Bitten who called it "Butt Sex and Blow Jobs" or some such... If it were that simple, all the cyber wannabes who lay claim to the Master/slave title would go out and buy themselves a collar and a bit of leather or a chain or a leash and life would be good.

Actual power exchange gets a whole lot more complicated when it comes down to taking away true control from one intelligent and multi-faceted and determined human being by another. Especially when you get to the layers of control that actually matter and that mean something.

I remember fantasizing about having control taken from me when I was yet pre-adolescent. All my most erotic dreams have focused in that direction in some way. As have all my most potent fears and terrors. When I first began to explore power exchange in earnest, reading and searching on line, I found, very quickly, that the places where I felt I would likely feel myself pushing boundaries were areas where I would have large bits of personal control pulled away from me. Not SM play... Control...

Slavery goes to that place.

It is common, in the lifestyle, for one to hear how a Master ought to treasure and honor a slave. Anonymous commented to that effect recently here, noting that I am mistreated and abused rather than treasured as I ought to be. In reality, I am both treasured and enslaved. There are times when I soar at His pleasure. However, there are times when He nails me with the flaws and failings He sees in my character, development and service; when He notes the places where I fail to bend to His will as I ought. He is not slow to make it clear that such flaws and failings are inappropriate and unacceptable. I am His, and He will have from me my best -- not my best effort -- my best.

This passage has been a stretch. Promises to be a stretch. I am finding I am lacking in trust. It is shocking to me. I ought to be better. I'm not. But I will be. I am sure. I will grow. I ought to be more secure. I'm not but I will be. I ought to be more generous and more open. I will learn. Our family is His to shape as He sees fit. He will steer us well. I need to see His vision.

Slavery can be joyous, sexy, thrilling. For me, it is often easy and light and fun. We are a well matched pair and the yoke I wear is usually light. But I am a slave and I do have a Master who owns me. When He calls me to obey, it is His right to do so, and there is no question as to the how or why at that point. I do not judge that. The filters that apply to other relationships do not apply to ours. It is a difficult distinction in some ways. I may quiver and I do struggle. It is what I choose. Ultimately, it is what I am and how I am best.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Time Out!

Ok… I have spent the past few days processing. I also didn’t read anything that either Swan or Jewels had written nor any of the responses until I got home from work this evening. I have a bunch of things to say. Some will read my writing and say “Golly, she sure as hell is no Swan.” And that is fine. We are 2 different people. We share a life. We sometimes share a brain. We do not always agree. And I certainly do not write as eloquently as Swan. I am the “silly” one. I am the one who tries to keep things light. I tend to avoid conflict when humanly possible. This is her blog. These are her thoughts. The place for her to share her heart and to work out things, hopefully with the support of a caring community of friends. I am the planner. I organize. They call me the “social director”. It is what I do and how I handle things.

I knew this past weekend was going to be difficult. Tom has been positively giddy over Jewels. I have been thru’ this before. I remember the nights I was in bed alone while Tom sat for hours online or on the phone with Swan. I remember being dragged along. I remember wishing I could be happier that he was happy. I remember being hurt, angry, frustrated and mostly scared. Swan mentioned somewhere that she feels less secure that me. I knew she would. She shouldn’t, but I knew she would. I know that I have the “law” on my side. But she has the larger chunk of his heart on hers. When things get tough, Swan will stand toe-to-toe and talk things out with Tom…. me? .... I want to go to the “Storage Condo” and crawl under the blankies. But because his heart was so entwined in this, and she has been so scared, they have talked less. There have been more passive-aggressive behaviors on both of their parts. I should know….I have done it, too. Oh, I have heard Tom telling both of us that we have nothing to be worried about. That he loves us with his entire being and I KNOW he means it. But the next breath is “Jewels….” Or then, as with this weekend, something he never did with Swan, he did with Jewels. It is more important to SHOW your love than speak your words. My head will always know that I am important and special and well loved. But if my heart doesn’t get the message, then it is all lost.

Now a little something for all of YOU…. I was here that weekend. I was around the night before “the slap”. I learned of it the following morning from Swan. I listened. I immediately had a 1-on-1 talk with Tom. I explained my concerns. He heard me. And I think that should be that from all of you. If I felt that Swan was being abused, I would be the first one to pack her bags and max a credit card to get her out of town. That was not the situation. And when I do practice discipline, it will not be because someone who hasn’t a clue what my family’s life is like, tells me I should “tag team Tom while he sleeps”! BDSM revolves around SSC and beating someone when they are asleep is a pretty sucky suggestion from a supposed “friend”. And back off of Jewels. She didn't ask for all of you "Holier-Than-Thou" types to treat her like crap. She is a lovely person. She has a heart just like the rest of us. She doesn't deserve your abuse. My Dad always said "Put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in motion. It's not what you say, but how you say it." Well, watch what you say, everyone is fragile right now. Your concern is appreciated. Your ABUSE is not.

We will all work thru’ this in our own ways. We will all be stronger. We will continue to share our lives with those around us that mean the most to all of us. And yes, Jewels and Loki, that means YOU. Tom and Swan used to say that our Clan would move no faster than the slowest member, and then move slower even still. Well, today, we shall more as slow as Swan…..tomorrow it may be as slow as me…. We shall see. But we shall see together. As a Clan with new friends. And anyhoo….I have new recipes!


Let me fight my own battles folks!

Alright. Now wait just one gosh darn minute here.

Loki posted this comment over at Lock and Ki --

"Someone just posted an anonymous coward comment. It was addressed to jewels. I deleted it. The next anonymous coward who wants to do so, address your comments to me, Loki. Then you will see what happens when a coward meets a dominant. You will be dispatched and dismissed for the troll you are. You should go do some serious research on Loki. People mistake the popular mythology on him as either evil or a trickster. In real Norse mythology, he was neither. He was the conscience of Asgard, and when that band of barbaric egos failed to live up to their own ideals, he cut them down and burned the place to the ground, sacrificing himself in the process. Get a clue."

I'm going to assume that there was some jackass who decided it was appropriate to go after jewels on some grounds because of what has evolved between our Heron clan and House Lock and Ki...

Then tonight, when the Heretic arrived home, He told me that some number of yahoos who had, until now been linked to Loki and jewels' blog, had dropped their links!

Good grief, children!

What the heck is this? Kiddies on the playground choosing sides, childish games?

Now you are messing with me and mine. Make no mistake. I may be all a mess. I may be all turned inside out and quivery and insecure and not at all sure where my head is, but that is MY FUCKING DAMNED MESS TO WORK OUT!!!!!

Jewels is now part of this clan. So is Loki. Leave them alone. They are ours. Ours. They didn't harm me or us. They were our guests. Invited into our lives and our home. Honored and welcomed. Treat them with disrespect and you dishonor us and our friendship. Do that and just take a hike. You aren't welcome here. Got it?

No matter how rocky or ugly or scary this looks or sounds, it is simply real people, working out real stuff in real life. Grow up. Watch and learn.


Oh, and jewels....
btw. That thing about this family not just about to become 5 -- you are, I think confused about who you just hooked onto. If you are really not wanting that to happen -- I'd suggest you consider the Federal Witness protection program... Just a thought.

Raw is Potential

Reading here over the next while is likely to not be for the faint of heart.

I had simply gone silent, knowing that the turmoil inside was not pretty, and opting to keep it inside rather than spew it all over here. There is no eloquence to me when my thoughts and feelings boil like they are now. I am simply raw and the words that express that rawness are not fine and polished. They spill everywhere without much to hold them back and without much finesse. I began to write again because I was commanded to. Commands are commands.

Jewels, please... We are friends. Were and are. The tenderness right now is palpable. I am sorry for that. Stay with me. I know that is a lot to ask. Thank you for the patience you are bringing to this. I am not meaning to hurt you. And I really know you meant no harm at all. I told you not to take responsibility for what is not yours. I meant it then and I mean it now.

Searabbit, your question about T is perfectly on target. She is what I hope to be someday when I grow up. She laid a path that I hope to learn to walk. She made space for me simply because I made Tom happy. I am sure it didn't necessarily make her ecstatic. She figured it out somehow. Jewels thrills Tom on so many levels. I will find this path if I have to move along it on my belly. T left me enough markers.

Jewels talked about the consensual side of things and the slapping that did, in fact, occur Saturday night. And anonymous calls it abuse... Even jack, who is a friend who has been with us for a lot of years suggests that it is perhaps time for me to walk away... The reality is that there is something in that moment that is riveting and difficult and painful and shocking. It is so elemental that it shifts the conversation and the tone. For me. For us. For everyone who thinks or knows about it. It is the quintessential act of ownership and control, when one person removes from another the possibility of believing they have a choice or an equal standing in the power exchange. I consented to His right to handle that moment in that way long ago. It didn't feel fair and it didn't feel just and it didn't feel reasonable to me in that instant. Still doesn't. I felt outraged and hurt and betrayed and humiliated, and it was His absolute right to choose to end the escalation of my behavior as He saw fit. We will, as we work through all the emotions around all of this, come to "the slap" perhaps. When we do, we'll work with whatever is attached to it. We've dealt with much bigger stuff. We know we can do that as well. He stopped a spiral that needed to be stopped. He took control. I ask Him for that. Expect it. That it infuriates and scares me sometimes is my personal internal battle.

I am raw. I am all nerves. I am frightened. I am also growing and learning. Hang on for a wild ride. I have no idea where this is going. What I know for absolute certainty is that, short of His releasing me, I'll be the slave of the Heretic when the whirling stops.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Swan's Confession

Master has fallen in love. Deeply. Passionately. At a level that no one anticipated, that no one expected, or went looking for, or sought. It came about because of connections made here at "The Swan's Heart," and it is intense, and it is undeniable. He and jewels are as twins, almost literally -- ask her. She can do the astrological chart stuff that proves it, but if you spend time with them, you don't need the charts. They are twins -- He and she. It is scary. The first face to face meeting of a two month whirlwind on line and phone escalation happened this past weekend when Loki and jewels (of Lock and ki) came to us here in Cincinnati and graced us with their presence and their charm and their incredible love and generosity. You can read the coherent version of the time we spent together here:

They were spectacular. Together and as individuals. Amazing.

My sister-heart was stunning. Planned menus that were simply awesome in their complexity and warmth and variety. She cooked and served an array of meals and snacks that had us all reeling from the sumptuousness of the flavors. As always, she was the consummate hostess.

I was useless and worthless and helpless and unpleasant and just a mess. It wasn't my intention but it is the simple fact. By Saturday night, He was so furious with me, that He ended the evening, finally so frustrated and angry that, when I was so clumsy as to spill a can of orange soda in the bedroom and then tried to clean up the mess, frantically pitching a bottle of advil onto the bed to get them out of the way, and hitting Him with them, He smacked me across the face and told me to get my ass to bed. As I stood quivering and in shock, I had a moment of utter confusion as my mind refused to process anymore. The orange soda ran everywhere and I finally just gave it up. I went to bed and remained still and rigid most of the night, afraid to move or sleep. Dawn came finally and somehow I made it through the rest of the weekend. He made it clear to me that I'd ruined the whole weekend for everyone and so added to my utter and complete shame.

I live as part of a poly household and a poly family and it is comfortable. I never meant to be poly. It is not something I chose. It turned out that way. I've never sought to expand this arrangement. Never wanted any other partner beyond Master. I've known He spanked others when He found me. Known He has always wanted other spanking partners. There have been other possibilities. There was Jacquie at one point. She and her partner were visitors at one point, but the interest soon dissipated. We've had other contacts along the way, but nothing serious. Sort of social. That didn't extend to LOVE. I knew it was out there, but I've tried not to look. Denial worked for me. I'm selfish. I want the time that we three have. I want the simplicity of our little stable world. I want to know that when it is time to snuggle in at night, that's it -- no tricks, no surprises, no guessing. I am just bad. I understand my T, and she understands me. We have our rhythms. We know who does what and how and when.

Part of me knew that when He did find someone that clicked, He would love her, and there would be none of that silly nonsense about going as slow as the slowest one. It just wasn't going to happen that way. He gets what He wants. Always.

Enter jewels. He loves her. Totally. Loves her in ways He will never, ever love me. He knows her. She's like Him. No silly Aquarian weirdness for Him to try and decipher, none of that airy, fairy watery bullshit. Solid and straightforward. He gets it. It makes sense. He'll go places with her, that He'll never ever think about for me. See things with her I can never get Him to see. Understand intuitively for her, what I can never make Him comprehend if I talk until I'm blue in the face. Damn!

And she's perfect. Perfect size for everything. She fits on the spanking bench. Fits in the stocks. No struggle anywhere. None of the contortions that are just part of life with my tall gangly awkwardness. Back to geekiness...

They'll play, when they play, on a level that will be more equal than I'll ever get to. She'll bottom for Him intuitively and never have to wonder. She'll know what I'll never know.

So... I have someone new in my life that I don't know and don't really understand yet and I am totally freaked out. Because He loves her, my charge is to love her, too. He wants me to do that, and He sees my slowness to do that as recalcitrance, stubbornness, manipulativeness, controlling, even bitchiness. It doesn't feel that way to me, but maybe it is. He says it is. If He sees it that way, then that is the simple fact. I'm inside of this, spinning around in a whirl of emotions and stuff.

If I were going to try and make a connection and an eventual friendship, left to myself, I'd indulge in long, slow conversations, about whatever there was that we could find to talk about, whatever we had in common. I'd watch faces and eyes and listen to the sounds I heard and the silences that fell in between. I don't have that luxury. I have to make a friendship out of whole cloth. I honestly don't know how to do that, and yet that is what I must do -- not try to do. Do.

I figure now I'll really lose my mountains. There is gravity to New England now. I'd held onto the possibility but now... Time to let that go too.

And power on that side of the equation that wasn't there before. Input being fed into the system that changes the balance.

Oh well.

Give. Masters own slaves. And love as they will.

I've struggled with the hierarchy before. T has more latitude than I do. And in some ways she could exercise power over me. I've never had the sense that she does that. I know she could. Now I'm more vulnerable. No choice. No options. I don't feel good about that just now.

I'm angry and I'm afraid and it doesn't feel like something I bargained for. I know that isn't right exactly, but I still want to go out and kick things and yell and scream and rage just for a little while. There's no safe place to do that. So. So.

I'm being less than graceful about this. In the really ugly and dark times, it gets really ugly and dark. I can't go into that. I need to hold onto the light and ride this out. I need to trust that this will be OK. That it will be good.

So I've been trying to gather all my spiritual lifesavers around me and hang on.

I'm not coherent and I'm not nice and I'm not good.

Mostly I'm just almost mute.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Hosting Ghosts

For those of you of a certain age...
You are now entering The Twilight Zone...
We've all been watching the news reports from the Gulf Coast with a mixture of shock and horror and dismay and anger. That is as it should be. I don't want any of what I am going to say here to diminish that in any way, and I fear that there is likely to be some sense that this may make light of all of the very real human suffering that is occurring, and is going to continue to occur all through the Gulf Region. That is not my intention at all. I have been and continue to be simply appalled at the depth of the tragedy that we have witnessed these last two weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and then "Hurricane Bureaucracy."

With that disclaimer, here's the reality that I've been experiencing the last night or two.

It seems that the destruction displaced not only the living but also the dead. I have a Gulf Coast ghost.

Some of you, if you've read here a bit, may know that I seem to attract ghosts. They like me for whatever reason. I am not sure what brings them in, but I do appear to have whatever that special something is, and am vulnerable to "ghost attachment" on a fairly regular basis.

I just hadn't been prepared for the likelihood that Katrina would stir up a whole raft of them and set them traveling, although when I think about it, it makes sense. The Gulf Coast is an area of our country with a long and rich history. The French, the Spanish, the English, The Acadians, all had their time there along with the Indigenous peoples of the area and the Africans who were brought in, brutally, and against their will, as slaves... It is that mix that gives the region its amazing and unique culture.

Anyway, I think my "ghost" seems to be Spanish, strong and healthy, and none too happy. He's not particularly aggressive, but he is a bit scary. He's dark haired and dark eyed, dressed in some sort of buckskin-like clothing. He does not seem to be armed, but I have the impression that he is comfortable with weapons. He's appearing in my sleep, but I am quite clear that this is not a dream/nightmare sort of encounter. I am doing my usual "ghost" talk with him -- "we are not going to harm you, but there is nothing here for you. You need to go on from here to whereever it is you were headed. we wish you peace and rest." I am feeling the need, with this one to fend him off physically, which is rare. Master has awakened me at least once while I was physically involved with my ghost, and He could see me wrestling with it. Interestingly, when He touched me, the ghost left. That is unusual, because generally, they are aware enough of others that the intervention of another person doesn't really change the interaction all that much. It is, however, not sending him away entirely. At least not yet.

Hopefully, I'll find the energy to settle the ghost enough to let him find his way to wherever he needs to be. I do find these visits very disquieting. I simply wasn't thinking in this particular direction, or I'd have been more careful about the likelihood that there'd be spirits everywhere just now...


Wednesday, September 07, 2005


There are probably as many different reasons why people do BDSM, as there are people who DO it.

Let a few people get together and get started talking about this, either in person, or in some sort of cyber modality, and you will find that the whys are widely divergent. We surprise each other sometimes and then you get that sort of baffled, almost shocked sound that Jack made in a comment here, a few days back, when he realized that the basis for his thinking and feeling about what he was into was sort of different than maybe mine was...

It is easy to get to sounding that way, especially if you are just going along, doing your thing, not really talking much to other folks. Let's face it, unless you are lucky enough to be wrapped up in a great big, vibrant, healthy and thriving kink community in one of the major metropolitan areas somewhere, odds are that you are pretty much on your own with this stuff -- except if maybe, like us, you might have a few correspondents out here in the blogosphere, or perhaps you write and read on some listservs or the like...

So, what are your reasons for doing what you do? Where did you come from and where does it take you? Where are you headed?

For us there are so many levels, so much history, so much connection, and so much passion.

We surely found each other because of BDSM and Domestic Discipline (DD). Without it, we might never have found each other at all, and the cosmic connection, the karmic connection that we believe has tied us across lifetimes might have not been made -- we might have missed each other this time around. That's a scary thought.

Our M/s forms a structural framework that simplifies and solidifies and defines so much of our life together. In someways, it makes life for us easy and straightforward. There are some things that we just don't have to think about or struggle with. The questions are already answered and the dilemmas just don't come up. He is the Master. I am the slave. When it comes to a point of difference, His wants and desires are the deciding factor.

There is surely the charge that comes from the power exchange; the give and take and balance that we get from playing on the edge of sadomasochistic erotocism. In this, we are well matched. He likes to see me suffer in the ways that He can bring me to hurt, and I can find my own gratification in the loss of control that a descent into pain brings. It is not the pain I crave, but the surrender to His power that He forces me to in the acceptance of that pain... Mine is a convoluted sort of masochism that works for us both in its difficult sort of way.

There is a purely hedonistic sexiness to it all for us. Simply put, there is a lushness to the range of sensations that can be evoked for us in all of the spanking and caning and strapping and tickling and fisting and scratching and paddling and whipping. It is sweaty and sticky and often bloody and downright messy, but there is no doubt at the end of it all that we've truly connected with one another -- no way to remain distant and uninvolved, uncommitted from the act.

I think the other big part of this is that it opens up spirit paths. Leaves us both vulnerable to the larger universe in very real ways. When we play, we are so wild, so elemental, so completely trusting and so open that whatever is going on with us and around us is utterly exposed. We bring all of who we are out of ourselves and lay it bare, for each other. In doing that, we make it available in the world. A good session is empowering, enriching, energizing. We've come off of high-end sessions and soared for days, having transformed ourselves, our surroundings and everything we've seen and touched. The power generated in that reality can truly be amazing. However, the converse can also be true. We really try not to play when we're not good, not strong and well and healthy. We try not to play sick or angry or exhausted. We try not to play impaired mentally or physically. We don't, as a rule, use our SM play as therapy (although we've occasionally used it as a cure for a headache with some success). The fact is that playing at the level we do is simply too much of a soul/spirit risk. It leaves us too raw and too vulnerable. If there are gaps, wounds, leaks, entry points, they are breaches in the spirit. I am entirely too sensitive to ghosts, spirit mischief makers, and any manner of bogeys to leave myself open to their intrusion in that fashion. I don't play with bad juju...

Not everyone is as attuned as we are. Not everyone plays like we do. Not everyone lives the same sort of relationship that we do. Lots of pathways. Lots of ways to do this. Lots of levels. This is some of what makes us the way we are...


Monday, September 05, 2005

More of Our Favorite Things

I sessioned swan today with the single tail she gave me (foolish girl:) while restrained in the stocks she gave me as well. Since we have been sharing pictures of some of our favorite items I thought some of you might enjoy seeing these. Here are our stocks decorated with our Snakepit Leatherworks single tail and our Hanson ash paddle.

Here is swan already for "take off." I know that at this point she is thinking she needs her head examined for her bizarre generosity to her Master. Of course usually the target this depicts would not be clothed, and we are not shy about nudity, but thought in light of all the new regulations about posting the unclothed human form on the Internet, we would be "discreet" this time.

Here is a side angle view of the anxioulsy waiting swan. She actually whined today from the time she was placed in the stocks even before the single tail began to "sway." We are going to be working on becoming more relaxed both in the stocks and with being whipped in the weeks ahead. Life is almost meaningless without goals to look forward to. I know swan will be looking forward (as she appears to be here:)

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day holiday. You can see we are:)


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A Few of Our Favorite Things

We are, as our Blog header says, a family that practices BDSM. It lies at the heart of who we are together. He's a sadist. I'm a masochist. We love and laugh and work and play, and if you ran into us on the street, or at the grocery store, odds are you would never guess there was anything at all kinky about us, but at home, in private, in our most intimate sexual expression with one another, pain becomes the currency for our connection and our erotic interplay.

We've been at it for years. Between us, there is plenty of experience, and a deep understanding of who and what we are to each other and within the lifestyle. We've long since passed the point of spanking with kitchen utensils, or with the cheaply made but massively over priced stuff that one purchases at the local adult bookstore.

We've got a serious collection of professional implements that run the gamut of impact play "toys." The range that is possible from our toybag is wide and varied. So, given that we've been into some heavy "political" content here, not to mention some intense sturm and drang on a personal level, I thought maybe it might be of interest to give our readers a look at our favorite toys. There are other goodies that we don't pull out as often, but these are the ones we keep close at hand -- the ones that are likely to come out at whim, whenever the mood strikes...

Paddles (mostly evil wooden ones, one nice leather one, and several nasty lexan ones)...

And straps ...

Whips, quirts, and canes (single tail is smack in the middle)...

And all those lovely, wonderful floggers...

Just a quickie sampling. I didn't get out all the restraints, or oddball, weird stuff, or take pictures of all the furniture type items. But I figure that those who wonder if we ever were going to talk about BDSM again deserved at least a bit of gratification...



Everyone should be appalled and outraged as the ever mounting death toll rises in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The assets of our federal government, FEMA and Homeland Security did not respond for days. BBC interviews of US military leaders have revealed that thousands of troops who were staged and ready to move into immediate action the day after the storm ended, remained inactive. In order for our military to take action within our borders a specific Presidential empowerment is required. None occurred for days. There was an aircraft carrier sailing behind the hurricane that was ready to sail to New Orleans right after the storm with airborn assets to assist in mass rescues and relief. It remained at sea. There were no orders from our President for them to move to provide domestic assistance.

In 2003 Louisianna State University housed and facilitated a disaster simulation bringing together FEMA, The office of the President of the U. S., Homeland Security, and private non-profit assets like The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, etc. to plan for catastrophic eventualities in the Gulf and particularly New Orleans. They predicated their plans on a level 4 hurricane hitting the area. They predicted the effects and impact with great accuracy (a hypothetical storm they labeled PAM). They planned for immediate and massive rescue and relief to those who were unable to evacuate the region. It was predicted that most loss of life could be avoided if there were 30,000 rescues per day for 10 days immediately following the storm. The LSU Professor who hosted the planning simulation was enraged when the day after the storm the sky was not filled with waves of helicopters removing stranded victims from the area hit. They had predicted that evacuees would be housed immediately in tent cities out of the area where there would be food and medical care and sanitation. Ironically the reaction of the Office of The President's representative to the tent city idea was that U. S. citizens don't live in tents. Obvioulsy, they live in football stadiums and convention centers without food, water, sanitation, health care, or security. The Forces were staged and mustered for rescue and relief to occur. Our President chose to not activate them.

The typical incompetence of the Bush administration, the Preisident's own charactersitic dullardliness, and the leadership of his FEMA and Homeland Security Departments by men who have no previous experience in disaster management, or homeland security prior to assuming their posts, could seduce one to imagine the lack of response was simply the typical Bush administration's lack of leadership and confusion. The contradictory reports of what relief will occur, and when, seemed like typical Bush administration dishonesty, the same as the continual cacophony of lies that has issued forth about IRAQ since the earliest days of the administration.

FEMA continues to say they had no idea how the area would be effected by a level 4 hurricane and that no one could have predicted the breech of the levis at New Orleans. This is clearly false and is either a lie or gross incompetence. There were military forces ready and asking to move immediately after the storm. They were held in check for days while victims died.

This is not a result of inaction or inability. The delays in rescue and relief in the Gulf Coast were intentional. That intention was the President's and that of his top level advisors. Those area residents who had resources, education, valued job skills, and able bodies evacuated the Gulf Coast under their own power and at their own expense. They will rebuild or relcoate and go on with their lives. They are mostly representative of the Business Class--Bush's folks. Those who could not, you know those others who are not quite white and polite, those who are disabled, poor, weak, dependent, ignorant, unskilled, aged, and sick, remained. These are the bane of the Bush administration. They cost money. The existence of each one will result in huge future expense through programs like medicaid, social security, welfare, public health, etc. and their presence will complicate the recovery and rebuilding effort and will add to its cost. BTW, these are not folks who vote Republican if they vote at all.

It was clear what the effects of this storm would be. It was clear the additional deaths that would result from delaying rescue and relief services.

Now that most folks who survived the delayed rescue and absence of relief, have been plucked from the area a week after the storm, the effects of the delays in their rescue will continue. It is predicted by public health experts that a large segment of those who have been rescued in the last 3 days will likely die from myriad diseases that they will have contracted during their ordeals in the aftermath of the storm.

So now the administration can claim, "See we did it, it was just such a big storm it took a while." They won't count the dead that ensue after the fact, just as they don't count as Iraq War dead those who die in hospital in Germany.

We can all go to bed tonight knowing that our herd is slimmed. We are leaner and meaner and will become more so as the weeks and months ensue. There will be less need for support of the impoverished in the Gulf coast region. And we all know who to thank.

Folks have commented on how, when they land in the airport near Crawford, Texas their are signs everywhere saying "THIS IS BUSH COUNTRY." I thinks signs should be erected on the New Orleans Convention Center and the Superdome saying "THIS IS BUSH COUNTRY." Let's give the devil his due.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

About my Living Room

If you've read here from the beginning, you know that blogging wasn't my idea. I blog because Master believed writing would be good for me, and that writing where others would read what I would write would be better. It wasn't something I was eager to do or especially happy about in the beginning.

For the longest time, I struggled with how to write what it is that I write here at "The Swan's Heart." I couldn't define what the purpose was. Was this supposed to be a diary that was for my own internal clarity, or was I to write to somehow communicate more effectively with Master, or was I to write something for some group of nameless, faceless strangers that would read whatever wisdom I'd impart?

It didn't matter, He told me. Just write. So I've written. About whatever was going on in my life, our lives, my head, my heart.

Blogs, I think, become many things depending on who writes them. They serve many purposes. This one has become a sort of cyber living room. It's way more open than most living rooms, but except for that, the reality is that people come into what has become a sort of "front room" for our life and our family. Pretty much, all and sundry are welcome to wander in and take part in the conversations here. We try to maintain a cordial and open venue for reasonable discussion. Considering that ours is a lifestyle and a family configuration that some unsuspecting visitors might find a little bit of a stretch, most folks behave like one would expect guests to behave. It is rare to find someone that comes in and behaves in a manner that betrays a total lack of breeding or class.

When that happens it is always tempting to respond in kind. For me it is hard to resist the urge to act with outrage when someone comes into my "living room" and acts like a hooligan. I have to remind myself that I am my Master's slave, and that my responses and my actions reflect not only on me but on Him.

So The Swan's Heart will remain a place where you'll read what is in my mind and my heart. You'll hear about what is happening in my life and our lives. You'll get my honest joy, my honest fears, my honest confusions, worries, and yes, my honest anger and outrage if that is the truth. You are welcome to come on in and join the conversation anytime you like. If you are a friend and we know your name, we'll always be glad to see you again. If you are someone new that we've yet to meet, I hope you'll introduce yourself and let us get to know you. If you want to act like an ill-mannered oaf, expect us to ignore you like a bug...


Friday, September 02, 2005

Words... At the end of a Week

Let me be clear.
Our family is well. Living in the midwest, we are dry, safe, secure. We've watched and listened to the reports from the Gulf coast with ever growing horror and disbelief and fury. How can such misery go on and on in a major US city -- unchecked? How can our so-called "leadership" allow the appalling lack of any sort of response to even the most basic needs for relief continue? We are in the hands of madmen. In the hands of fools so far removed from reality that it is utterly frightening. I sincerely wonder if the tremors set off by the devastation of Katrina may not rock us all in ways as yet unforseen. We've no one with any clue about how to steer this boat...

Tuesday night was the appointed night for my face-off with those who were gunning for me in the parent community at school. After weeks of preparation, I made a one-hour presentation to explain the junior high mathematics program in it's entirety -- its basis in terms of the graded course of study, its foundation in terms of theoretical research and NCTM standards, its compliance with state and district standards, and the accommodations that I make to meet the needs of students of different learning styles and needs. Every family was supplied with a 39-page packet of informational materials. I took questions from the group for as long as anyone wanted to ask. The group of people who have been passing rumors and spreading gossip; those who have been most vociferous in their complaints, did not bother to attend. However, the larger percentage of my students' parents, who did come that night seemed pleased with what they heard, and were supportive. Now we'll see if the rabble rousers will go back to their caves...

Cleo, the wonder cat -- my old lady feline companion, who is about 14-1/2 years old, is terribly ill. I suspect that she is likely suffering from kidney failure. She's basically quit eating anything except a bit of turkey. Not drinking anything. Mostly just sleeping. I was there the morning she was born. She's been companion in my world for a lot of years. I know that a vet would likely force fluids, perhaps suggest dialysis, charge a lot of money, scare her half out of her wits, and make her utterly miserable. At this point, my sense is that she is not uncomfortable, she is peaceful, she feels safe and loved. Mostly, she is sleeping. I am feeling sad, but hoping, that if it is time for her to go on her way, that she finds her way easily...

There was an anonymous commenter to my last post that said that I might be letting my mind write checks my butt couldn't cash. Suggesting that perhaps a bandaid over the damaged spot on my butt would be prudent. If it were that simple, we'd have done that. Duh. We've shredded bandaids by the score trying to protect that spot. Tried covering it in a variety of ways. I've tried to support that skin with any number of creams and potions, purchased at every sort of pharmacy and health food store. Some scene folks talk about a condition called "leather butt." It implies, to some, a condition where the skin becomes tough and insensitive. Others consider it to be more like what I have experienced, a sort of thinning or brittleness that makes for an area of particular weakness. One solution that works to some degree is to spank over clothing... That can reduce the chances of that skin breaking, but has other drawbacks -- He can't see what He's hitting, and that has risks too. In reality, the fact that it bleeds isn't particularly painful from my perspective. It is "messy." It requires a level of aftercare. It is a reality that we deal with.

And then there was Loki, suggesting that He was surprised that I hadn't already known that ... What? I'm not exactly sure what it is I might already have known. I suspect that what I ought to have known was that I should have told Master of my need, sooner, more clearly, more definitively. Not let it get to the place where I was feeling so lost, so cut off, so adrift... That it was my responsibility to make that situation clear, not wait for it to become known somehow...
It is a reasonable suggestion. A reasonable expectation. An expectation that Master, Himself has of me.
There is a delicate balance that one who is slave maintains, and I think it is complicated to explain, even complicated to understand for the one who attempts to keep the balance. I know that my needs are important to Master, that He wants to know what they are. At the same time, I understand that it is not my place to make demands, to drive our play or our D/s. The pacing, the style, the nature and enactment of that is His to define and determine. With the levels of stress that were so much a part of our lives in the months leading up to the knee surgery, it was easy to let the active D/s become more and more quiessent, and chalk it up to stress, or take the blame for the fall off because of my own emotional volatility. It was easy to tell myself that it was being put on hold until things were more "normal." I told myself that He knew what my needs were and that to reiterate that to Him was to "nag" in a way that was inappropriate for a slave. So, Loki, it wasn't really that I didn't "know" so much as that I put what I knew in abeyance for the time being because it simply couldn't be made to make sense...

We've got three glorious days off. A soccer game tomorrow for the lone remaining "kid," but other than that, a relatively light schedule. Perhaps there will be time for some sincere hedonistic stuff. That would be just good for us all...